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London Forum Updates

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Councils must issue brownfield development orders

Posted on: 31 January 2015 at 11:53:16
In June 2014 the Treasury announced that 30 ‘housing zones’ would be created across the country, including 20 in London, in which "all unnecessary planning restrictions" are removed to boost house-building. Five sites in London were announced - Meridian Water in Enfield, Tottenham Hale in Haringey, Southall in Ealing, South Poplar in Tower Hamlets and Winstanley and York Road in Wandsworth
George Osborne said Councils would be "required to put local development orders on over 90 per cent of brownfield sites that are suitable for housing". Councils can grant local development orders (LDOs), which grant automatic planning permission to specific types of development in a defined area, to encourage developers to build without going through the formal planning application process.
Funds were made available for local authorities which prepared development orders.
A new consultation has been issued by the Planning Minister with a closing date of 11th March 2015. It defines brownfield land as being suitable for new housing if it is deliverable, free of constraint, capable of development and capable of supporting five or more dwellings. It proposes that local planning authorities (LPAs) will be designated as under-performing where they do not meet the objective for bringing forward sufficient coverage of local development orders on brownfield land suitable for new housing, or where authorities have failed to provide sufficient evidence that this objective is being met. Where an authority is designated, applicants would then have a choice of applying directly to the Secretary of State for planning permission.
To encourage more Councils to prepare NDOs, DCLG is making more funding available to local authorities.
Prior to this consultation a report commissioned by the Treasury was published on the role local authorities could play in increasing housing supply with a range of new measures aimed at kick-starting a wave of new housebuilding by councils.
Lloyds Bank also commissioned a study by Mark Frisk and Nick Raynsford on how more homes could be built and it has a dozen recommendations, including affordable homes, delivery of the required infrastructure, availbility of suffient planning resources and a new professional landlord sector.
Many large brownfield sites in London will be covered as Opportunity Area and Area of Intensification processes by planning frameworks.
London Forum's members are advised to check how well those 'masterplans' meet the requirements as development orders to determine what will be built and where. They should liaise with their borough on the preparation of development orders for other brownfeld sites.  Without approved specifications in place of what is to be developed, the lead will be taken by planning applications or, in the case of any boroughs designated as under-performing, by the Secretary of State to whom an developer can appeal for determination.
Please send any comments on the consultation and other points above to

Former housing ministers: Ways to build more homes

Posted on: 30 January 2015 at 18:02:04
Lloyds Bank commissioned a report on how delivery of new housing could be improved.

GLA report on part time working in London

Posted on: 28 January 2015 at 20:55:08
The GLA's Economics Unit has published a report here on this subject.

Assembly 'Out of Stock' report on social housing loss

Posted on: 28 January 2015 at 16:10:40
A report, which you can see here, has been published by Assembly Member Tom Copley giving details of the effect of 'Right to Buy' as a contining decline in London's council housing stock, less funding available for new social housing and insufficient investment in affordable homes.

'My Community Rights' web site

Posted on: 22 January 2015 at 12:14:53
Some useful guidance is available at the web site here on the rights of communities.
The opportunity to have buildings registered as Assets of Community Value, as here, should be considered by community groups and civic societies.
Local Listing is also a useful process to assist in conservation.
See advice on it by Civic Voice.

Update from London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network

Posted on: 20 January 2015 at 21:26:15
See the LGSFGN update here.
Their next meeting is at City Hall on Monday 23rd March 2015 6pm to 8pm.

London Development Database

Posted on: 18 January 2015 at 18:00:18
This is a reminder of the database here of approved major planning applications in London.
The database can be search by location. Clicking on icons in the map (which can be zoomed) will give the planning application reference that can be used to find more details. The colour of the icon indicates the status of the development.

The Mayor's planning cases

Posted on: 18 January 2015 at 17:27:54
The GLA Mayor reviews strategic planning applications, draft replacement Local Plans, Local Development Schemes and Local Development Document consultations referred to him.
There is a weekly list of planning consultation referrals. 
There is a list by borough and by date of the Mayor’s decisions on applications which gives access, by links, to his Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports to the borough on them.
London Forum's member societies can monitor the borough list here and examine the reports. 
It would be useful if members advise London Forum of any situations where they are concerned about the outcome of a referred planning application. 
Members with an Opportunity Area (OA) in their locality can examine the state of the planning framework for it here.  
As advised previously, community groups should ensure their Council develops the OA masterplan to define what developments and of what type should be delivered and where and with what types of infrastructure.
Incomplete plans will result in planning applications determining the development of the OA.

Plain English Guide to the Planning System

Posted on: 11 January 2015 at 22:52:49
The Government has published this guide which you can see here.

Recommendations for homes, jobs and growth by 2036

Posted on: 9 January 2015 at 11:11:25
The Mayor's London Enterprise Panel (LEP) commissioned a report and recommendations from London First on this subject.
London First is an independent business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business.
Their conclusions are here and the full report here.
Issues that the study identifies are:-
Overseas relationships
Technical skills and digital connectivity
Funding for SMEs and infrastructure
Delivery rate of new homes
Low fiscal and political autonomy
Poor levels of inclusion
Slow growth in outer London
Lack of planning resources in London's boroughs
The response and proposals of the LEP will be important for London's future.

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